Khetan’s allegation without proof Is a danger to democracy

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Vartak threatens to file defamation case against Ashish Khetan and AAP.

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Abhay Vartak spokesperson of Sanatan Sanstha has rubbished all allegations made by AAP leader Ashish Khetan holding the outfit and Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS) responsible for the murder of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar. Vartak added that political parties have always been making baseless allegations against Sanatan Sanstha without providing any proof. He said that such allegations will pose a threat to the democracy and added that Sanatan Sanstha will file a defamation case against Khetan and AAP.

When asked as to whether Ashish Khetan’s allegations on social media had some semblance of truth to it, Vartak replied, “Of course not.  These statements (by Khetan) on social media definitely show that he has commented without any proof or actual investigation being launched into the matter. We will take our own stance on this issue as nothing has been proved in concrete as of yet by the authorities.”

And on further questioning as to whether his party would launch a counter-case against AAP, Vartak said, “Such allegations on social media are definitely a danger to democracy and the nation. We are appalled by it and would definitely take steps to launch a defamation case against Khetan and AAP.”

Earlier, Ashish Khetan had posted messages on social media and mentioned that Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Jangruti Samiti had perpetrated the murder of Dabholkar. Khetan added that investigation agencies have identified the culprits responsible for Dabholkar’s murder. He had named four members of the Sanatan Sanstha — Sarang Akolkar, Rudra Patil, Jaiprakash Hegde and Praveen Limkar — behind the murder. All four have been absconding since 2008.

Ashish Khetan tweeted, “Right wing group Sanatan Sanstha and its affiliate wing Hindu Janajagruti Samiti are behind the murder of Dr Narendra Dabholkar. Agencies have cracked the case. ‘Sadhaks’ of Sanatan Sanstha and HJS behind Dr Dabholkar’s murder have been identified.”

“Sanatan Sanstha had carried out bomb blasts in Maharashtra and Goa. Even though agencies had demanded for a ban to be imposed on Sanatan Sanstha but the erstwhile Democratic Front government had failed to take action against the organisation,” he added.

Khetan nonetheless failed to disclose the sources from where he received this information and didn’t provide any documentary evidence in support of his claim.

Hamid Dabholkar-AVNarendra Dabholkar’s son Hamid Dabholkar said, “Mr. Khetan’s allegations confirm our suspicions which we, along with the kin of Mr. Pansare and Mr. Kalburgi, have been expressing for a long time — that the murders are the handiwork of extreme rightwing elements. The State government ought to wake up at least now and reveal the names of the assailants,” he said.

The CBI on Wednesday searched the house of an alleged Sanatan Sanstha member Sarang Akolkar, wanted by the NIA in the Goa blast case, in Pune, in connection with the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar. CBI sources said besides Akolkar’s house in Pune, searches were on at the premises of Virendra Singh Tawde in Panvel near Mumbai in connection with the Dabholkar assassination case.

Radhakrishna vikhe patil1-AVLeader of opposition in the state assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said, “The BJP government lacks political will to bring the culprit responsible for Narendra Dabholkar’s murder to book. The party is shielding Santan Sanstha and the investigation process too is moving at a slow pace. The revelation made by Ashish Khetan needs to be taken seriously and the government must probe this case.”

Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune when he had gone for a morning walk in Pune. Even though three years have passed ever since Dabholkar was murdered but police have failed to crack this case.